Tar River Reservoir

Discussion in 'NORTH CAROLINA LAKES / RESERVOIRS' started by rebaldo, Apr 3, 2009.

  1. rebaldo

    rebaldo New Member

    First time at this fishing hole. Any advice on catching catfish from shore?
  2. JimmyJonny

    JimmyJonny Well-Known Member

    Welcome to the BoC ; )

    I'm over in SC so I don't know your water system but we will start off with some basics, try it out, then we can make changes from there.

    I wont get into tackle much unless you need help on that. I use Carolina rigs off shore ( and I do a lot of it ). The hooks I'm using atm are 4/0 Circle hooks tied on with snell knots.......very important IMO. I advise on 1.5oz or 2 oz egg sinkers for the rig. This time of year I'm still using small/med baits. Our fish aren't ready to eat the big baits yet ( foot long bait.....yep, I said foot long ). The 4/0 hook does good for small bream size bait. If you go with bigger bait go bigger hook. Leave PLENTY of hook exposed, cats are not hook or line shy at all ; )

    I want touch on one thing that I believe is my biggest factor in catchin them kitties. Time, time,time !!!! Bank fishing is restricted because of the restriction in moving around. If your spot holds fish they more than likely will only bite at certain times. Unfortunately this time may be at dark, 1 am, 4am, etc. This is where you decide on how much you want the big cat. Nothing comes easy, at least for me, and with some investment of your time you can do very, very , good. With this in mind you must make that personal decision ; )


    Beam/gills...my absolute, hands down favorite bait. Works on Hartwell but your lake could be different.

    Herring/threadfinns... another favorite here. Its chicken of the sea, born to be ate by fish. No spines, oily, soft...fish love-em.

    Gizzard shad.....many giant cats caught on them and loved by many fishermen. Downside is catching them or buying them......$2.50/$3.00 per fish.

    White perch..... Another loved catmans bait. Fun to catch and fairly easy year round. Great bait,like bream, to spend the day catching...bringing kids to do the job and you will have a bucket full before ya know it.

    Anything else that swims......carp, bass, etc all work but I advise on the above baits to start.
    Providing you already know what the spot looks like during the day I would try and get out there around 4 or 5 am ( ick, early I know ). Set up good holders....away from the bank. I never , ever, set holders at the edge because at 4am a giant cat could be sitting 10' from the shoreline looking for food and you don't wanna spook him.

    Your spot.....
    I like spots where I think the cats will travel. Looks for flats with some timber if you can that the channel runs close to. This is your target area. Look at it this way. If I get in my jeep and go to McDonalds I wouldn't got drive through my neighbors yards to get there, I would travel the road and make my way there. Cats do the same, they will travel that river channel, road bed, creek etc. looking for food as they move. Throw lines in the shallow, channel edge, and in the channel with different baits. See where the bite comes from and what bait is working. If possible looks at a boaters gps. They have the area saved in there and you can see the underwater channels and creeks. This will show you your are really well.

    Wait it out...its all you can do but I promise you it will pay off. I've sat there for 6 hours without touching my line and then suddenly pull in a 25# cat. But don't forget, I already put in my time and I know for a fact that my spot holds fish. Some days fish bite, some days they don't. If you don't get them at 5am one day they might not wanna eat or its not feeding time in that area. But if they are bitting at that time you can bet that everyday they will be there at the same exact time. Two months ago I had to fish 20f temps at 3am to catch them......or catch no fish. Slowly the bit moved toward daylight. Now I'm fishing daylight hours because I've watched the pattern ( and its warmer , lol ). But...I already know that this will not last and they will return for the night bite before long.

    I advise using your bait cut for now..a bream head or gut maybe. You can use live ( flatheads like live better ) but learn the snag areas for now, this way a live bait wont drag ya into the timber ; )Hook the cut-bait through the eyes or the brain. If you get a slam and he stops, never grab the line, let it sit.....he will be back. With a head portion of a bait your hook is in solid, the fish wont be able to take your bait off your hook ; ) If its a soft part, wait for 15 minutes at least then check if your bait is still there.

    Careful with the circle hooks, there is a method to the madness so research the hooks or ask on this thread.

    There is so much more that can be said but I'm ready to go fish : )~ This will get you started or raise more questions...and that's a good thing, ask away.

    Also ask around at the local bait shops, online reports etc. You will have to separate yourself from people that fish boats, IMO, its a totally different game because they have so many options. We have to make the best out of what we have to work with. Watch where birds are diving or Blue Herring hanging around.... a sure sign of baitfish in the area.

    If you see empty worm containers around you know people are catching fish but you now know how to find the big ones, not the smaller ones that people are catching there ( you'll notice broken mono all over the place from light tackle ).

    Stick to your spot, try different depths,, types of bait, bait size, and fishing times. Try to log your information as you go, it pays off !!!! Keep your bait alive if you can and cut them up fresh. If they die put them on ice in a plastic bag so they don't get soggy on ya.

    Again welcome to the BoC...many , many great people who will help you out. More folks will be here soon with there advice also. Pick and choose what you think will help. Nobody knows it all and every spot is a little different.

    Not sure how far you are but your welcome to come this way anytime and I will get you on some fish the JimmyJonny way, LOL. Just get here and the rest is on my dime ; ) This offer is for any BoC'er......and I happen to have all week to fish non-stop ; )

    G'luck and make us proud

    If ya can......Let the big boys go for next time. Get us a pic...we love it !!!!!

  3. rebaldo

    rebaldo New Member

    Thank you Jimmy Johnny............that was a very informative post.

    I lived in SC too. Live up in Seneca and also in Camden. Fished Hartwell and the wateree river. All you said made sense. I am slowing down now and gettin a lil old. So I am looking around the local lakes in Wilson NC. My wife misses eating fresh blue catfish.

    I fished with strips of white perch on a kale hook when I had a boat. In Hartwell I caught small bream and drift fished them for hybrids and stripers. Did not do too well on catfish there. When I fished Lake Gaston ......it was gang busters for blue cats. I understand that is the case for Badin lake too.

    Anyway, just talking about it is fun. My favorite fishing is drifting in winter down the river channels with large baits. Best size was 37 lbs for me.

    I am checking out the small lakes around the area now and want to sit with my wife on the shore and watch my line tighten. BTW.......I use slip bobbers for my shore fishing and when I am in shallower waters. I cut foam bobbers and put a straw through them. Then I use a bead and a tiny piece of rubber band for a stop. Works great catch all kinds of fish on that rig.

    Enough for now. Have a good fishing season.........Rebaldo
  4. DH84

    DH84 New Member

    Eastern NC
    im from wilson originally and i hate to say it but theres not much in the way of catfishing around there. We caught some small cats here and there in local ponds but nothing much more then a few pounds, ive heard of some decent 20-30lb flatheads coming from the resovoir but i havent seen them myself.
  5. Bryan8552

    Bryan8552 New Member

    Both of the flats in my avatar came from there. Actually caught upriver during the spawn.